ESL announced Thursday it will return for another year of IEM Oakland, which will take place Nov. 18-19 at Oracle Arena. Astralis and FaZe Clan will attend the event, which has a prize pool of $300,000.
The 12-team tournament will include six more invites and four teams that earn their way through a qualifier. Last year’s event was the inaugural IEM Oakland, and ESL will once again call the Oracle home for a weekend. Last year’s event attracted 6,500 visitors for both main event days, according to an ESL news release.
“IEM Oakland is becoming the Bay Area’s premier esports event,” Michal Blicharz, Vice President Pro Gaming at ESL, said in the release. “It is the fourth time in a row that we bring the world’s best gamers to the West Coast and thousands of fans have made great memories here together with us.”
Ninjas in Pyjamas won last year’s tournament. Astralis participated in the event and reached the semifinals before losing to SK Gaming. IEM Oakland will be part of the recently-announced Intel Grand Slam, in which the first team to win four out of the 10 most recent $250,000 ESL or DreamHack events will receive $1 million.
Astralis and FaZe Clan have developed a fun rivalry in recent months since FaZe added Nikola “NiKo” Kovac. They’ve met three times in the playoffs of major events, with FaZe Clan winning the most recent one in the IEM Sydney playoffs. Both teams will compete at this weekend’s ECS Season 3 Finals.
Cover photo by Helena Kristiansson/ESL, eslgaming.com